An Open Statement to South Carolina’s Nine Presidential Electors

Arik Bjorn speaking  (Photo by John A. Carlos II)

Arik Bjorn speaking
(Photo by John A. Carlos II)

Presented at the Democracy Spring and Electoral College Petition “Stop Trump / Defend Democracy” Event at the South Carolina State House on December 19, 2016


To the Esteemed Electoral College Members of the State of South Carolina:

—South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Matt Moore
—Brenda Bedenbaugh
—Bill Conley
—Moye Graham
—Terry Hardesty
—Glenn McCall
—Jerry Rovner
—Shery Lanford Smith
—Jim Ulmer

I address you with all due respect and formality, as you are presented with an extraordinary responsibility at a point in history that will be judged invariably for centuries to come.  I am convinced that the Fate of our Republic rests in your individual and collective determination.

On December 19, should you select the name Donald Trump as our next President, everything you hold dear about the Institution of the United States of America, the generations-long desire by all concerned citizens to Perfect our Union, will, with certainty, come to a grinding halt.

A Trump Administration will plunge our nation into an abject decline—and will threaten centuries of effort to build and maintain Civilization.  As a student of ancient and modern history, of this I am convinced—and it is why, since September 2015, I have been issuing statements in national publications about Donald Trump, as such:

Donald Trump is wholly despicable.  Period.  He is a Gordon Gekko, xenophobic barbarian who is hell-bent on destroying Civilization.

I felt no compulsion to issue such a statement during the two-term Administration of President George W. Bush, whom I consider to be the worst President in our national history.  Nor would I have felt compelled to make such statements should John McCain or Mitt Romney have prevailed in their Presidential bids.

Donald Trump began his campaign with attention-getting overtures of fear-mongering and racism.  What began perhaps as a dramaturgic, professional wrestling stunt has now morphed into Pandora’s Political Box, its lid ripped clean.  The Joker is now the Juggernaut.  While many are to blame, into your hands is placed the Republic’s final hope for a better way.


Citizen to citizen, this is my plea—a plea that is now a permanent part of your personal historical archive.  Whatever your decision, my open statement will accompany it into the annals of history.

Here, finally, are words I published on December 9, 2015.  I beseech you to contemplate them on this most historic of days:

What is the point of reminding ourselves, time and again as we have for the past century, that those who ignore history are destined to repeat it—if we don’t actually act when that history unfolds right before our very eyes?

As for me:

I refuse allegiance to the Trump Administration,
And to the Plutocracy for which it stands;
One narcissist, under Mammon,
Unconscionable, with bigotry and fascism for all.



Arik Bjorn

Arik Bjorn lives in Columbia, South Carolina. He was the Democratic Party / Green Party fusion candidate for U.S. Congress in the 2nd Congressional District of South Carolina. Visit the archive for Arik’s campaign website, and check out his latest book, So I Ran for Congress. You can also follow his political activities on Twitter @Bjorn2RunSC and on Facebook. And be sure to check out more from Arik in his archives!

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  • puzzled1

    OnDecember 19, should you select the name Donald Trump as our next President, everything you hold dear about the
    Institution of the United States of America, the generations-long desire by all
    concerned citizens to Perfect our Union, will, with certainty, come to a
    grinding halt.

    My my, what a prophetic statement.

    Puzzling, here we are on December 20th in Columbia, SC, electricity is still on, the internet is still working, buses, trains and planes are still operating.
    Don’t see anything come to a grinding halt – yet. Nevertheless, I will be patient.

    However since you do “claim” to be a student of ancient and modern history, let’s take a moment to examine just the past eight years in the context of your statement:

    “A Trump Administration will plunge our nation into an abject decline—and will threaten centuries of effort to build and maintain Civilization.”

    Let’s examine just the past eight years in the economic context of your statement in just three areas: 1) student loan debt in the US; 2) the number of people on food stamps in the US; 3) home ownership in the US.

    By the way, please feel free to check the accuracy of the points I am about to make. They are published by the Federal Reserve Bank of St.Louis:

    1) Student Loan Program: For you historians as of the third quarter 1990, there were no outstanding student loans. Nevertheless by the beginning of the Obama administration (in the first quarter of 2009), student loans stood at $146.6 billion. By the fourth quarter 2015, the last quarter for which the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis reports the data, student loans had risen to $945.6 billion. By December 2016, according to the US Debt Clock, student loans have now grown to $1.4 TRILLION dollars – the fastest growing personal debt category.

    The origin of the student loan program can be traced to Bill Clinton signing the Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1993, which set up a phase-in of a direct
    government lending for student loans that replaced the program of government guarantees of private student loans arranged largely through banks, beginning with the National Defense Education Act of 1958 and the Federal Family Education Loan Program in 1965.

    In signing the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, President Obama engineered a government takeover of the student loan program, so that today all student loans are direct government loans.

    Remember:
    1) an individual cannot be absolved of government student loans by declaring bankruptcy – student loans are exempt from bankruptcy laws;

    2) obligations under student loans are subject to wage garnishment
    – WITHOUT going to court;

    3) the number one reason for college dropout today is not bad grades. It is excessive debt.

    Talk about bankrupting the future of our nation.

    2) the number of people on food stamps in the US: Food stamps:

    Under President Obama, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, commonly known as the “Food Stamps” program, has grown from $54.8 billion in 2009 to $69.4 billion in 2014 – this represents a 27% increase in Americans on food stamps.

    In January 2015, the number of beneficiaries receiving food stamps topped 46 million for 38 straight months, with 14.6 percent of the population and
    19.7 percent of all households receiving food stamps. This represents an
    increase of 1,517 percent over the 2.9 million Americans participating in the
    food stamp program in 1969.

    This is economic “progress”?

    Really?

    3) home ownership in the US.: Question: What is the largest single item of “civilized” wealth owned by the average American?

    (playing the Jeopardy theme while waiting for your answer)

    Answer: Your home.

    So if our homes are the largest single item of wealth owned by Americans, just how is this doing since Barry Sotero became our Resident in Chief?

    On July 28, 2015, the Wall Street Journal reported that the rate of home ownership in the second quarter 2015 hit a 48-year low, reflecting the reality
    that fewer middle class Americans can afford to buy a home. Under Barry Sotero, an increasing number of Americans are living in rented homes, with the American dream of owning a home no longer an economic reality.

    One more chart of economic “progress” under Barry Sotero.

    Yep, the Trump Administration has quite a bit of work ahead of it.

    From a deplorable voter in the 2nd Congressional district in South Carolinia.

  • puzzled1

    “On December 19, should you select the name Donald Trump as our next President, everything you hold dear about the
    Institution of the United States of America, the generations-long desire by all
    concerned citizens to Perfect our Union, will, with certainty, come to a
    grinding halt.

    My my, what a prophetic statement.

    Puzzling, here we are on January 8th 2017, in Columbia, SC, electricity is still on, the internet is still working, buses, trains and planes are still operating. Don’t see anything come to a grinding halt – yet.

    Nevertheless, I will be patient.

    However since you do “claim” to be a student of ancient and modern history, let’s take a moment to examine just the past eight years in the context of your statement:

    “A Trump Administration will plunge our nation into an abject decline—and will threaten centuries of effort to build and maintain Civilization.”

    Let’s
    examine just the past eight years in an economic context of your statement in
    just three areas: 1) student loan debt
    in the US; 2) the number of people on food stamps in the US; 3) home ownership
    in the US.

    By
    the way, please feel free to check the accuracy of the points I am about to
    make. They are published by the Federal
    Reserve Bank of St. Louis:

    1) Student Loan Program: For you historians, as of the third quarter
    1990, there were no outstanding student loans. Nevertheless by the beginning of the Obama
    administration (in the first quarter of 2009), student loans stood at $146.6
    billion. By the fourth quarter 2015, the
    last quarter for which the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis reports the data,
    student loans had risen to $945.6 billion.
    My goodness, that’s a 545% INCREASE in student loan debt in just eight
    years! Now THAT is an accomplishment
    deserving recognition. By December 2016,
    according to the US Debt Clock, student loans have now grown to $1.4 TRILLION
    dollars – the fastest growing personal
    debt category.

    The
    origin of the student loan program can be traced to progressive President Bill
    Clinton signing the Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1993, which set up a phase-in
    of a direct government lending for student loans that replaced the program of
    government guarantees of private student loans arranged largely through banks,
    beginning with the National Defense Education Act of 1958 and the Federal
    Family Education Loan Program in 1965.

    In
    signing the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, progressive President Obama engineered a government takeover of the
    student loan program, so that today all student loans are direct
    government loans.

    Remember:

    1)
    Thanks to progressive President Obama taking
    over all student loans, an individual cannot be absolved of government
    student loans by declaring bankruptcy –
    student loans are exempt from bankruptcy laws;

    2)
    obligations under student loans are subject to wage garnishment
    – WITHOUT appearing before a judge in a court room (a requirement for all other
    garnishment actions);

    3)
    the number one reason for college dropout
    today is not bad grades. It is excessive
    debt.

    Talk
    about the progressive influence bankrupting the future of our “civilized”
    nation.

    2) the number of people on food stamps in the
    US: Food stamps

    Under
    President Obama, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP,
    commonly known as the “Food Stamps” program, has grown from $54.8 billion in
    2009 to $69.4 billion in 2014 – this represents a 27% increase in Americans on
    food stamps.

    In
    January 2015, the number of beneficiaries receiving food stamps topped 46
    million for 38 straight months, with 14.6 percent of the population and
    19.7 percent of all households receiving food stamps. This represents an
    increase of 1,517 percent over the 2.9 million Americans participating in the
    food stamp program in 1969.

    This
    is economic “progress” towards a better civilization?

    Really?

    3)
    home ownership in the US.: Question:
    What is the largest single item of “civilized” wealth owned by the average
    American?

    (playing the Jeopardy theme while waiting for your
    answer)

    Answer: Your home.

    So if our homes are the largest single item of “civilized”
    wealth owned by Americans, just how is this doing since Barry Sotero became our
    Resident in Chief?

    On
    July 28, 2015, the Wall Street Journal reported that the rate of home ownership
    in the second quarter 2015 hit a 48-year low, reflecting the reality
    that fewer middle class Americans can afford to buy a home. Under Barry Sotero,
    an increasing number of Americans are living in rented homes, with the American
    dream of owning a home no longer an economic reality.

    One more chart of economic, civilized “progress”
    under Barry Sotero.

    Yep, the Trump Administration has
    quite a bit of work ahead of it.

    From a deplorable voter in the 2nd
    Congressional district in South Carolinia.